Evidence supporting the claim that women's participation in large-scale rural water supply projects leads to improved project outcomes is largely limited to isolated case studies. This paper attempts to fill this gap by examining data from 45 villages in two World Bank-assisted projects in India. Using data from a variety of sources, including water committee members, household surveys and focus groups, women's participation is quantified - what percentage actually attend meetings or are involved at higher levels of participation such as decision-making? While it is determined that, in some cases, female committee members are nominal, or token, participants, there is evidence that being on a local water committee helps women develop skills and confidence. Overall community participation is found to have a positive and significant relationship with different measures of project success; however, women's participation at the levels observed in this study is found to have no relationship to project success.

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